How to Tweet When Sad News Breaks

We’ve had a lot of heartbreaking news stories in the past few years, and for many Twitter users that social network was the first place they heard about some of them. It can get emotional and a little overwhelming on Twitter as these tragedies unfold, and it’s a good time for your personal and company brand to make a positive impression and contribution to the conversation – and avoid a negative one.

If you want to hang on to your followers and sound like a real and thoughtful human (or a company ran by thoughtful humans), follow these tips for tweeting during a sad news event. Continue Reading…

Why Buying Social Followers is a Bad Idea

When many businesses start out using social media, they often focus on their number of Twitter followers, Facebook likes, etc. and desperately want to increase those numbers. That’s why “services” that offer hundreds of thousands of new “real” followers for $5 or $150 can look like a good idea. (Spoiler alert: They’re not.)

Increasing your number of followers – or reach – can be instrumental in making your social media marketing more effective.  But, having more followers only helps if those followers are real people. You want followers who will notice you in their stream and be interested in what you have to say and sell. Continue Reading…

Shortened URLs in Social Media: Pros and Cons

I received a great question from one of our customers at AboutUs: What is the best Twitter URL shortener?

As I dove into writing an answer, I took a step back and pondered whether it’s actually a good idea to use a URL shortener when posting in social media. After all, Twitter now has a built-in URL shortener, so you no longer get extra characters by using your own shortened URL when you want to include a link in your tweet.

Here are the pros and cons I came up with for posting shortened links in social media. Continue Reading…

Facebook Will Take Your Money to Game Their EdgeRank Algorithm

Yesterday I was amused by a post about how Facebook was testing paid post promotion in New Zealand.

I thought it was a bit crazy, but dismissed it as not all that important.  After all, the company was just testing paid post promotion, and I bet Facebook tests all sorts of things that never see the light of day outside the test market.

But I was wrong to dismiss Facebook’s paid post promotion. Today, as I was posting to the AboutUs Facebook page, I was introduced to the new “Promote” option that’s now been rolled out worldwide. Continue Reading…

Why I May Unlike My Favorite Radio Station on Facebook

In the past year or so, my favorite radio station has really been stepping up their social presence on Facebook. They went from infrequent posts about concerts, music news and the like to something completely different.

The transformation started slow.  I started noticing – and liking – their Facebook posts featuring pictures of one of their DJ’s cats. Because I’m a cat lover, I didn’t notice or mind how off-topic they were. Continue Reading…

Twitter only emailing about some @s to hide spam, annoy me

Any popular social network (or blog, wiki, etc.) is bound to become an attractive target to spammers.  People have come to expect spam in their email inbox, but spam can be surprising on a social site where you feel like you’re only talking to and visible to your friends.

What’s interesting to me is how social networks deal with try to hide spam.  In my last post, I talked about how Facebook hides messages from non-friends they think could be spam.  This gives Facebook a sense on non-spamminess at the cost of preventing social interactions from people you’re not connected to.

Now I’ve noticed that Twitter is doing something similar. Continue Reading…

Is Facebook hiding “Other” messages from you? Yes, but why?

A few years ago I got what looked like an important piece of mail in my mailbox, and it was addressed to someone else with a unique name.  I thought about throwing it back in the mail with a “not at this address” note and hoping it would make it to the right place eventually, but then I had an idea.  I searched for that person’s very unique name in Facebook, and sure enough, I found one result and they were in Portland.  I sent them a message, and they were thrilled (it was in fact a very important piece of mail) and we met up craiglist style for the hand-off.  If I do say so myself, this was a pretty helpful and social interaction. Yay Facebook!

More recently, in November 2011, a woman left her laptop in a cab and a good samaritan sent her a Facebook message to let her know, but she never noticed it.

You see, between the time I sent my message and the laptop finder sent theirs, Facebook redesigned their message system to effectively ensure a message like those would never see the light of day.  So Elizabeth didn’t get the message about her long lost laptop until someone told her where to dig to find all her Facebook messages.

Where you can find your "Other" Facebook messagesHave you ever noticed the “Other” subfolder in your Facebook messages?  I haven’t talked to anyone who noticed it themselves, even though it’s been hiding there since November 2010.

Let’s take a look.  You can find it by clicking “Messages” and then the mysterious “Other” option that then appears below it.

Continue Reading…